Hang on a minute. I’m sure it was only yesterday that I was blogging about being in London and being presented with the gold pin for my 50th title and then – well, then I blinked and now a month has gone by and it’s October 22nd and, as Lee has reminded me it’s time for me to come and blog again.
So what happened to that month in between? I don’t remember too much of it. That’s because I was busy writing and with a deadline looming and a sexy alpha hero to deal with, I was fully occupied. I’m always more absorbed in the ending of a book than at the beginning. In the first few chapters, I’m getting to know my characters, learning all about them, finding out what makes them tick . . .Then when I get to the middle of the book , it’s as if I’ve turned a corner. I know just what’s happening with my characters and who they are and suddenly the words start to flow, coming faster and faster and I write more in the last week or so than I did at the beginning. And that keeps me totally absorbed so that I don’t really noticing the days passing by.
So now I’ve lifted my head and taken my fingers from the keyboard, suddenly I realise that it’s October 22nd and I’m booked to blog here. One of the reasons I’m here now is because I have a new book coming out – The Greek Tycoon’s Unwilling Wife – which is out in November. So from concentrating on one hero in my latest story, I now have to concentrate on talking about another one. And by coincidence they are both Greek heroes. I didn’t plan it that way, it’s just happened.
It’s a well known fact that in the Presents line, the Mediterranean hero helps to sell the books. I’ve never been quite sure why readers see them as so much more exciting than other nationalities. After all, I’m married to an Englishman and have been for years so I’m really fond of that ‘stiff upper lip’ type. (And he’s a Yorkshireman as well – they’re even more so!) . But when I choose my heroes, I don’t just think ‘Oh, I’ll write about a Greek or a Spaniard or an Italian this time. Each nationality has particular characteristics that make me choose them.
Which is why these two heroes ended up being Greek. The stories are about pride and family and honour – all things that matter to their heroes. And now when I look at the books side by side, even their names are similar – the hero of The Greek Tycoon’s Unwilling Wife is called Andreas. The hero of my newest , as yet untitled, story in Angelos (the heroine calls him the Black Angel). But they’re very different men and so their stories are very different. For one thing, this November book is an amnesia plot, and in the new one the hero remembers everything about what has happened in the past – so that his heroine wishes he didn’t.
One of the questions I keep getting asked when people learn that I’ve written over 50 books is ‘How do you keep fresh?’ well these two Greek heroes are the perfect example of how I do it. They are both from the same country, they’re both alpha male types – but they are both very different people. And when I’m telling their stories, it’s keeping them individual that makes the story come alive for me and so helps me to tell a fresh new story.
And so Andreas’s story will never be Angelos’s - and although it’s an amnesia story it will never be the same as other amnesia stories I’ve written before. Because this is Andreas’s story and no one else’s.
(I’ll be talking about amnesia stories over on the I heart Presents blog on November 5th if you’d like to come along and join in – tell me some of your favourites)
But all this thinking about Greek heroes has me wondering – do you love the Mediterranean type of hero or do you prefer your heroes ‘home-grown’ from the USA or UK? I’ll be intrigued to know as I think about my new hero and try and decide who I’m going to write about this time – a Sheikh? – an Italian? Or maybe that stiff-upper lip Englishman. What do you think?